I have to admit that these past three days have been kinda hard for me. Perhaps it’s just that big life transitions and pregnancy emotions simply don’t mix very well. Or, maybe it’s just me. The truth is that I cried about Jedidiah going off to college while he was still in utero, and I cried often as a child about how quickly my baby sister was growing up. I have always been sentimental and quite emotional about the passage of time. I just can’t seem to get used to it. And, pregnancy hormones definitely magnify this aspect of my personality.
Anyway, I’ve been a little down. Daily life feels different, like something is missing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying my one-on-one time with our amazing Lilia Mercy. But, I miss my boy. He’s been right by my side for most of the past 6 years, and now he is gone. Some days I have to remind myself that he didn’t die, he just went to kindergarten. It doesn’t take much to make me teary. All sorts of items around the house trigger memories of good times together. And I know there are lots of great things to come, but I’m letting myself grieve for a few days. All of this will feel much more normal soon.
In the mean time, Jedidiah is transitioning like a champ. Day two did bring a few tears, but he processed it and returned to joy within an hour or two of arriving home. He seems so grown-up, so wise and “together.” He uses his astute big boy voice to teach his sister about the things he learned at school. He tells us about different activities, different people in his class, and the rules that he is learning. He is proud of how good he is at following the rules (I guess he’s a little bit like his mom).
He’s extremely communicative, which is a huge gift to me as we head into this phase that feels so unknown. I overheard other parents at pick-up saying they just can’t get their kiddos to tell them much about school. Jedidiah is definitely not like that. And, it helps to set my mind at ease that he will talk to me when hard things happen.
Part of the struggle of Day 2 was that I sent him with a snack that had nuts in it. I did not know that his class is “nut free.” His teacher would not let him have his snack. Jedidiah didn’t understand and was hurt and upset. He was calm about it at school, but he cried and let out his feelings to me. He told me, “I don’t know if I want to go to a school where people can’t have nuts! Nuts are one of my favorite foods!” My sentiments exactly. Oddly enough, I love nuts so much (and feel annoyed when other people won’t eat my delicious food with nuts in it) that I prayed before my kids were born that they would like nuts. Well, that prayer was answered! And, Jedidiah mellowed out about the whole thing by today. I promised that his after-school snacks would always include nuts, and he seemed satisfied with that.
Another part of this transition is that the whole family is developing new routines. None of us were particularly early risers before. In fact, Lilia often slept until 8:30 or 9 am. These days, everyone is up and ready before 7 am. Lilia even loves the fun of laying out her clothes the night before and dressing quickly in the morning. With more time in the morning, we are finding all sorts of projects to work on before Josh goes to work at 10 am. Lilia is also a great little shadow throughout the day – happily helping me with housework and errands. When her brother gets home, though, she is eager to spend time with him. They both forget about me altogether while they “wrestle” and giggle and play pretend together. It’s such a joy to see how much they like each other.
So, I am trying to embrace the present and still feeling a little sad about all that has passed by so quickly. Yet, I love and enjoy my family more than ever these days. I am still exhausted at the end of very full days – having one in school does not mean less work, really. And, before long, we will welcome a new little person into our daily lives. So much change, yet God is with us. I’ll leave you with a quote from Lilia from this week: “We love our-chother, right Daddy?” Yes, we do, Lilia. We love each other very much.